Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Essay

Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Essay

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Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist


The road to accepting the Constitution of the United
States was neither easy nor predetermined. In fact during
and after its drafting a wide-ranging debate was held
between those who supported the Constitution, the
Federalists, and those who were against it, the
Anti-Federalists. The basis of this debate regarded the
kind of government the Constitution was proposing, a
centralized republic. Included in the debate over a
centralized government were issues concerning the affect the
Constitution would have on state power, the power of the
different branches of government that the Constitution would
create, and the issue of a standing army.
One of the most important concerns of the
Anti-Federalists was that the new form of government would
strip the states of their own power. The Anti-Federalists
feared that by combining the previously independent states
under one government that, "...the states, once sovereign,
would retain but a shadow of their former power..."(Main
120). The Anti-Federalist claimed that if the sovereignty
of the states was to be maintained then the states must be
granted the vital powers of government and the power of
Congress limited. However, they claimed that this was not
so under the Constitution. The Constitution gave Congress
unlimited power and did not explicitly detail any control
that the states would be able to exercise over the Federal
government. The Anti-Federalists stated that since both the
state and Federal government would frequently legislate on
the same matters, if a conflict among their decisions arose
the Federal government would win out because of its
connection to the Supreme Court (Main 124). They feared
that "t...


... middle of paper ...


...ison goes back to his belief that the
Federal government is unlikely to become oppressive because
the people grant its power.
Both the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists believed
strongly in their convictions about the Constitution.
However, in the end, it was the Federalists who won, and the
Constitution was ratified. Looking back in hindsight, it is
easy to see that both groups were right. The Constitution
created a government that has, for the most part, protected
the rights and freedom of its people, but there have also
been moments in American history where the fears of the
Anti-Federalists were realized and corruption was found in
the government. Admiration is felt for both of these
groups, because their debates over that fledgling government
gave rise to a strong Constitution and a strong
representative republic.

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